Louisville Magazine

OCT 2014

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

Issue link: https://loumag.epubxp.com/i/388156

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Page 28 of 172

26 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 10.14 Abit DEEPER ump with the slamming of my own car door. I'm on edge. Nerves. Pre-existing, worse with this huge warehouse of West Hill Street near Central Park, its brick shield shadowing me. Garage-type entrance, insides exposed, dark. Peek my head in, ask "Hello?" Tere's something large covered with a black tarp. Looks bigger than a Shaq-sized bat. Against the right wall, fake facade of a country porch, bloody rubber chickens chain- hanging upside down. If picked, will I be the Disturbed Farm Girl? Hot hell knows I got a lot of bumpkin in my repertoire. Could stick them kids with hick, then stick 'em with a pitchfork, easy. "Hello?" No response, except the drone and crackle of some oldies song deeper in. A lady singing high-pitched love, and it's eerie. Decide front entrance, where "Devil's Attic" sign hangs worn over open door. I wade through uncut afternoon- rainstorm grass, practicing a growl. Not feeling that scary. Least not as scary as I need to be for a haunted-house audition. Been practicing all afternoon. Earlier in Central Park, I tried memorizing some King Lear, to whip out just in case. But a screaming homeless man distracted me from monologue's "Poor Tom! Poor Tom!" Front door opens to hallway. Walls gravestone-gray, fake ivy. Half-expect someone to pop out at me, chainsaw slice my weak ankles, weaker now at the thought. Already feel I'm being The Audition By Arielle Christian Illustration by Carrie Neumayer J watched. Te tune creeps into my head: "Jeepers Creepers, where'd ya get those eyes?" First chamber: three chairs, empty. One on platform ft for a vampire, leather throne. Other two for twiddle-fngers like me. Stack of papers on table. Congratulations! You are one of 50 being interviewed for the Devil's Attic, Louisville's No.1 Halloween attraction, now in its fourth year of operation. Hundreds applied. Glad I was psychotic in my application, using the Devil as a reference, words like "want" and "make" and "people" and "piss" and "pants." I'm reading about the acting director, stand-up comedian Todd Merriman, when a door creaks open. Tere they are, those eyes! Contacts, rather. Black death holes sealing bright white irises. Before you die you see the ring. Introduces himself as Daniel. Normal, besides his peepers. "Right this way," he says. Gather my things clumsily, denting my headshot. He pushes open dungeon door and I follow him through to the Other Side. Waiting in its lair is some sort of pterodactyl/contorted Barbara Maitland from Beetlejuice, jaws wide, teeth sharp. "Who's this?" I ask, sticking my head in the mouth, confdence turned up now. "Careful," Daniel warns. "Might take your head of." "Don't need it anyway." We round a corner weakly lit by a fickering lantern, pass a wall of skulls and enter the audition room. A panel of four judges. All look kind enough. No latex scabs. Yet. Video camera blinks red. Judgment Day. Must look so innocent in my tie-dye hippie dress, sweet specs, blond hair. Opening questions. "Why do you want to work here?" Simple. Never acted, want to. Want to work on being in character, developing it. Want to run with the freaks. "What horror flms you into?" Can't answer, "None." Can't answer, "Te Bone Collector." Denzel ain't gory. Instead, start rambling about crazy people. Tose untamed minds. Beautiful but terrifying. Mention the park, homeless man raging at some lady's dog. "How about you act out this man for us?" Merriman says. I slowly drag an invisible red sweater behind me. Twitching a little, snarling. Stomp. To ground: "Put your f-----' dog on a leash! Marnarblarhar…." Merriman hands me a paper with scripted lines. List of warlocks, witches, clowns. "Do Vampire Woman," he says. I glance at the line: "Look, sister. Tis body's fresh and sweet for the sucking." Was hoping he wouldn't pick that one. I'm no vampiress. I head to the hallway for a good 30 seconds, mumbling "Look, sister" in diferent pitches. Can't pin it. Kinda shaking. Wasting time. Tey're gonna think I ran away. I return, holding fresh dead body, imaginary weight heavy in arms. Trow it on the judges' table. Like, "Hey! Check this out!" I sound like a toad. "Again. Pick a victim," Merriman says. I stare 'em all down hard but still sound of. Swedish or something. "Again. More seductive." In hallway, channeling sexy. Eyes focused, sultry. Lower voice, like a good radio personality or chat line girl. I walk in swaying shoulders and hips. Next I read the part of Little Girl. "MAMA! MAMA! IT TOOK BILLY! DON'T LET IT TAKE ME, MAMA!" "Pretend you just saw your brother eaten by a monster and it's after you next," Merriman says. Run fast, trip in, smack hands on table, wide-eyed, looking all of them in their faces, exasperated, pleading. Te judges, though remaining quiet, nod and grin. I'm feeling wild. On fre. I'm a Devil-possessed baby in a highchair: "Son of a — choke on these Cheerios." I lean forward, grab a chair and, eyes closed, scream louder than any scream queen. After several growls, the audition is over. Don't even know what just happened. Who was I? What was I? Have a hard time listening to the judges' scoop. Compensation: $450 fat. Every 3,000 people through the door, $50 more in the bag. Reached 7,000 attendees last season. Pass out fiers, $25 more. "Haunt work is hot work," one of them says. No AC in the warehouse. Only been 15 minutes and it's true: sweat. Must be prepared to be fully costumed each practice. "We'll bloody you up. You'll leave stained." "Will make for a fun ride home," I say. Trying out for the Devil's Attic.

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